Greetings all. Welcome to the new followers – and thank you 🙂 I’m continuing a short series in Isaiah; sharing some of the encouragement and challenge of reading the book over the summer. If you like, you can read Isaiah and Me or The Isaiah Disclaimer as these were my introductory posts.
It was a joy to read the first couple of verses of chapter 35 from the New Living Translation…
Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! (v1,2a)
It reminded me of church.
At times church can feel a bit like a desert and a wilderness. There are seasons when I have felt church life to be a spiritual wasteland. If you’re shocked and/or you disagree with me, then you should count yourself extremely blessed. You should thank God every day, that church life has never been like that for you.
It has for me, and for many I know.
Thankfully, those seasons pass, and church life becomes a literal, ‘abundance of flowers and singing and joy.’ I’m grateful to God that is also my experience.
What struck me about these verses was that there is a reason to be glad, even in the wilderness days. Our spiritual wastelands have the potential to bloom. And this message of hope is to be passed to those who need it.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees. v.3a
The image of tired pray-ers comes to mind. Hands raised or simply joined together; on our knees – either literally or emotionally. It can be disappointing; praying for the same things over and over. Waiting is tiring, but the news of God promising an abundance of blossoms and joy from desert lands, brings strength. And of course, that promise comes back again in chapter 40. Strength for those who wait on Him.
We should tell people that. I bet we all know someone with tired hands and weak knees. Or maybe it’s you who needs to hear it. I know it cheers my heart every time I read it. So be encouraged, or be an encourager. No matter how dry and desolate the situation, there is promised cause for celebration.
It might not feel like it everyday. It might not feel like it today. But there’ll be flowers, and singing, and joy; and lots of it.
Just you ‘wait’. 🙂 x